Friday, February 27, 2009

Truckers Can Be Heroes Too

I know lots of folks look at trucks on the highway as just an obstacle in their way. They are wrong, though... If it weren't for trucks and the people who drive them, there wouldn't be much of anything to call your own.... Because if you have something, more than likely it got to you in the back of a truck.

Anyway, in the news here the last couple of days there has been a story of a trucker that a lot of folks are calling a hero. There is a truckstop near the town of Ripon, California and on Thursday night, one of the trucks in the lot caught on fire. Well, not the whole truck, just the trailer. The trucker didn't just jump out of his truck and run away. He put the truck in gear and drove it out of the parking lot and down a nearby street to an area where it was isolated and the fire was unable to spread.

The Ripon Police Department was dispatched along with the fire department. The first patrol car on the scene had his dash-cam going when he arrived and the video has been on the news this morning. I "grabbed" it and put it on YouTube this morning so I could share it here:

burned-truck The Modesto Bee has a number of still photos of the aftermath of the truck fire. What a mess, huh? From the angles of the photos, it looks as though only the trailer burned, not the tractor. Lucky for the driver, I would imagine, because that means that all his belongings in the truck are still there.

I also posted the Modesto Bee article on the California Fire News blog this morning.

In my opinion, that trucker is a hero. By staying with his truck and driving it out of the truckstop he prevented a disaster. At night, truckstop parking areas are usually full of trucks parked close together. If that trucker hadn't moved, who knows how many trucks would have burned and who knows what kind of loads would have been destroyed. The hero's name is Randal Jack, and I salute him for keeping his head when he looked out his mirrors and saw the flames.


katfish said...

This guy probably just made a lot of new friends there at that truckstop. He definately used his head.
Several years back I had to drive my elderly Grandmother 50 miles for open heart surgery during a horrible snow storm...I mean a really bad storm. A trucker had us get in his rear and got us all the way to the hospital...he didn't give us his name but I'm with you, these people are the unsung heroes in many ways.

Anakerie said...

Back in the days when I drove trucks cross country, I had a lot of cars trailing us in bad weather.. My partner and I stopped a number of times to help folks out. Including one time going across the Pennsylvania turnpike late one night and seeing headlights shining up in the air where they shouldn't have been. A fellow had driven off the road, gone airborne and ended up with the car wedged between a couple trees a ways off the ground. No cell phone back then, but the PA Highway Patrol had CB radios so we could holler for help... The guy was ok, just stuck with no way down to the ground but his car was totaled.